Saturday, March 6, 2010

In Mookambika Temple

What you will feel when you go back to a place, which holds some special importance in your life after close to two decades? The journey to Mookambika was a homely experience to me. I wrote the first ever word in my life in this holy shrine. This journey was not at all a preplanned one, the thought of going to Mookambika was popped up in my conversation to Vishnu (One of my close friend). He too wanted to go there and thinking about it for quite a long time. Later Sushant too joined.

As we decided to go in that day itself (Friday), we went to cafe and booked a Karnataka RTC ticket from Bangalore to Mangalore. As there is not much time to search for short routes we decided to go through the easiest way we know. More over train and other KSRTC buses are already filled.

Around 6.30 we reached KSRTC stand in Majestic and comfortably landed in our seats. As usual i took the window seat. After some time the bus started to move and we are on the way to Mangalore. As the metro rail and other flyover works released so much dust to the atmosphere stars are not all visible. After coming to Bangalore i rarely see stars threat to limited. I think instead of never sleeping cities we required sleeping cities. It is said that in a year around 4mn migratory birds are being killed due to light pollution in US alone.
But soon the pollution in Bangalore proved better as compared to the rest of the road we have to travel. This may be one of the worst roads in Karnataka, as we are going far form Bangalore road is becoming more badly. Later Visnu complained that he was unable to sleep as his is hitting front seat, thanks to the road!!!

But it was a wonderful journey at midnight we are moving through some forests, even if the road is bad, sky appeared clean. Around 5 in the morning we reached Mangalore, the city was still sleeping. From there we got a direct bus to Kollur (which was actually coming from Mysore). Roads in Mangalore are very good, but the specialty was the bridges. There were a lot of bridges in the way and the beginning and end of each bridge have a couple Lion capital of Ashoka.

After sometime we reached Uduppi, and then continued our journey to Kollur. Bus started to climb the Western Ghats, and number of passengers was slowly reduced and finally there was only five people in that big bus excluding conductor and driver.

We got a good room in 'Kadinjapalli Satram' - a local lodge. We didn’t find difficulties with language in Mookambika as almost all people know Malayalam very well. In the evening we went to the temple, there was a number of 'arangettam'- performing dance for the first time - in that night. The temple is made up of stone, and the top of the 'Sreekovil' - sanctum Sanctorum is covered with gold. The floor to is paved with stone. After getting 'Kashayam', around 9.30 we came out and went for dinner.

In the next day morning we went ot he temple, and after breakfast we decided to go to Kudajadri - which is the 'Srimoolasthanan' of Mookambika temple. I thought that Kudajadri temple is only some 7 km away from Mookambika temple and we can walk. But people told us that we have to take a jeep as it was more that 20 km away. The cost forgoing in jeep was around 175Rs/head. Due to some unexpected expenses we didn’t had enough hard cash. I went to the syndicate banks atm. But even after entering the value nothing happening, neither cash is coming out nor atm card. Anyway after some time and generating enough sound machines gave my card back. I tried for once again - same result.

At this time Vishnu called us and said that, we can pay the amount later(Next to it there was a Canara bank atm too), which was proved disastrous later. Thus we started to Kudajadri through the zigzag Shimoga route with 8 persons on board - all are from Kerala. After sometime we left the Shimoga route and took right and started to climb all the hair pins. You cant describe this as a road even in the wildest of your imagination. I don’t think that jeep will go for one month with our repairs.

Finally we reached Kudajadri, the idols are Mookambika Devi, Panchamukha Ganapati, Shiva. From here jeep cant move forward. This is believed t be the place where Mokambika Devi gave 'Darshanam' to AdiShankaracharya. The cave in which Shankaracharya performed his ... was only some kilometers away I decided to go in. After walking some distance there is a 'Ganesha Guha'and then AdiShankara Temple. After that there is a steep decent, and after sometime I reached the cave of Chitramoola. It’s a small gap between to big rocks lying horizontally to the mountain.

It was a wonderful place. I am sitting in a place which was used by Adishankaracharya centuries ago. There was a small creek in one side of that cave. I spend there ten minutes, the sight from here is really magnificent, i am not feeling the heat of noon but the coolness of cave. And the opposite is the vast forest and the temple of Mookambika is shining brightly. At this time i got a call from Vishnu(Yes we got signals at this point, but in the way there was no range) as time for going back was approaching. And we started our return journey to Mookambika. It may take some 30 - 40 minutes to reach Chitramoola from Kudajadri temple.

Now its the time to pay the driver - but the Canara Bank(Which is the only one remaining) was empty!!! No way!!! I came back and saw the driver. but as you can imagine, he was not in any good mood, and you know what will happen, people are gathering around and started to advise as - Like why are you not taking enough money? etc etc. But as Vishnu had just enough money which kept in the room, we are all freed from that situation. You can have atm card but it can’t replace hard cash fully.

As we are running out of money we thought to cut short our journey. But later decided to stick to our previous plan (Anyway we already paid the full amount to bus ticket and we already paid the bulk of the rent as advance. Later the room owner proved to be a very good person and even if we stayed half a day more he charged only 50Rs for that time)
In the next day, for our delight Syndicate bank's atm started working. In the afternoon we went to the temple and around 8pm we started our jouney to Bangalore through Shimoga route, road was small but in good condition and reached Bangalore at 6 am in the next day.


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